The Bolts (1-2) will head to Houston this weekend to face a team still looking for their first win of the 2022 season (0-2-1). Per DraftKings Sportsbook, Los Angeles is a five-point favorite over the Texans which is down from 5.5 where it was to begin the week.
This will also be a chance to avenge a late-season shellacking the Texans gave the Chargers which actually did a number on the eventual outcome of Brandon Staley’s first season as a head coach.
I’d say there’s plenty to play for in this matchup, regardless of the new season still being in its’ first month.
With that being said, here are the three things I’ll be keeping an eye on when the Chargers take the field on Sunday morning against the texans.
1.) Which side wins out: The Chargers’ league-worst rushing offense or the Texans’ league-worst rushing defense?
Through three weeks, the Chargers have had almost nothing close to what you’d consider a balanced offense. They’re currently coming off a week where they rushed for 22 total yards and currently sit at the bottom of the NFL with 59.0 rushing yards per game.
However, their opponent this week is allowing an astonishing 202.3 yards per game on the ground. Talk about a STOPPABLE force meeting a MOVABLE object...am I right?
One way or another, something’s gotta give when these two teams meet. If I had it my way, the Austin Ekeler and the other backs would combine to rush for over 100 yards in Jamaree Salyer’s first career NFL start. I mean, at some point this dam has to break, so why not this week?
And speaking of Salyer...
2.) It’s Jamaree Slayer time, baby!
A couple days ago, I truly wouldn’t have believed that the coaching staff would go in this direction. It seemed all to “par for the course” for them to just stick with Storm Norton while forking out his “experience” as the reason for the decision, but it took one half of play against the Jaguars for them to come to their senses on what type of player they have in Norton.
Salyer started for Georgia en route to them winning a national championship over the likes of Alabama. Now, I understand that may not be enough evidence to prove he can play tackle in the NFL, but we certainly won’t know until he’s given the chance. It could also be a lot worse, ya know? The team could believe an undrafted player from the MAC is the right option!
At the end of the day, we’ll know more about Salyer as a player once Sunday’s game comes and goes. Whether that ends up being a good or bad thing, at least the team can check the box on that option and know they at least gave it a shot.
Salyer received some high praise from offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi following Thursday’s practice, so at least you know the staff truly does hold the rookie in high regards ahead of his first professional start.
“We talk about Rashawn [Slater] and Zion [Johnson], he’s cut from the same cloth.” - Chargers OC Joe Lombardi on Jamaree Salyer— Hayley Elwood (@HayleyElwood) September 29, 2022
3.) How does Chris Rumph II look in his first NFL start?
Joey Bosa’s absence on the defense has left massive shoes to fill. While Rumph’s certainly not the same breed as the Big Bear, he’s the one tasked with filling that void across from Khalil Mack as the team’s other starting edge rusher for at least the next four weeks.
In his first stretch if extending playing time against the Jaguars, Rumph recorded one total pressure in 43 snaps played. He also missed a tackle which led to a very poor 25.0 tackling grade by Pro Football Focus. His other grades were also a bit middling as he ended with an overall game grade of 44.7. That doesn’t breed a lot of confidence, but with a full week of work and preparation as the starter, I’d expect a much better performance against the Texans.
Morgan Fox creates the interior pressure, Chris Rumph cleans it up.— Gavino Borquez (@GavinoBorquez) August 14, 2022
A thing of beauty. pic.twitter.com/bC2spTYrZO
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.